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  • Jem and the Holograms

    Jem and the Holograms

    ★★

    I was not ready to see how eviscerated this movie was on Letterboxd. The ratings are shockingly low, and it's only helped to add to the mythology that this is a bad film. As an adaptation of a fantasy cartoon from the 80s, sure... it does little to tie into its source material. However, it is overall a fine girl power story about learning to accept your identity. it may be condescending, even simpleminded, but I don't think there's anything…

  • Mary Poppins Returns

    Mary Poppins Returns

    ★★★½

    Once again, the first viewing of this film was rooted in a bit of skepticism about how good of a musical it is. I seem to do that every time for new movies, even when under the watchful eye of someone like director Rob Marshall. What I wasn't aware of was that I found myself the second time not thinking of the original Mary Poppins, but of MGM musicals. It's true that the Julie Andrews classic owes a lot to…

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  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

    ★★★★

    When approaching an older musical (or film for that matter), it's hard to not just fall into the "Yes, But." Category. To appreciate classic cinema is to overlook various ideals that have since become dated and look embarrassing. There's art beneath these ideas and to tear away the issues is to remove the artist's intentions. Recently, I watched Carousel, which was such an offensive attempt to turn a sexist male into a compassionate protagonist (his big revelation? Coming back to…

  • Selma

    Selma

    ★★★

    I saw it at an advanced screening (supposedly "the first audience"). I was chosen to be part of the focus group after and when asked whether the film was Excellent, Very Good, or Good, I put down Good. When the curator asked us to raise our hands for these individual selections, I was the only one who raised his hand for Good, making me the lowest rated person there.

    It was quite an experience because the issue with Good is that you take no fault in it, yet there isn't anything to praise either, which made me being singled out all the more interesting.